Draft Goa Lokayukta Bill submitted to Kamat

Draft Goa Lokayukta Bill submitted to Kamat

After formally accepting the draft, Kamat told reporters that the Bill would be tabled before the forthcoming State Legislative Assembly session beginning from October 4.
Goa Law Commission Chairman Ramakant Khalap said there are parts from Jan Lokpal Bill including separate prosecution wing under Lokayukta, separate court and others that are embedded in the draft.

"We may be criticised for doing cut and paste job from bills like Jan Lokpal Bill, Lokpal bill and Central government bills. But we have taken large portions from those bills," Khalap told reporters.

He said that every complaint reported to Lokayukta would be investigated within six months and the special court will have to prosecute it in one year.

The draft bill gives power to Lokayukta to enquire suo moto as well as on complaint and reference by government into all allegations of corruption, favouritism, nepotism, lack of integrity and others.

In an important provision, the Lokayukta will be empowered to take action against all functionaries including Chief Minister, Ministers, MLAs, and all government servants as well as office bears of local bodies, municipalities, Zilla parishads, panchayats, cooperative societies, societies, government companies, NGOs and individuals getting grant of more than Rs one lakh from the government or foreign or public contributions.

"A high court judge will alone be qualified to be Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta," Khalap said adding that the Lokayukta will have its own investigation and prosecution wings.

"Special courts will be established to try the offenders," he said.

Khalap said no previous authorisation or sanction will be required to take cognisance of any complaint or to probe into any offence of corruption or to prosecute an offender.

Moreover, all public functionaries will be liable to disclose their assets, he said adding that disproportionate assets will be confiscated and bank accounts may be frozen.

"Pending inquiry a public functionary may be transferred or suspended," the draft reads.
It has also made it mandatory for every department to publish its citizen charter and update it regularly.